Tragedy: Principal cellist is presumed dead in US plane crash

Tragedy: Principal cellist is presumed dead in US plane crash


norman lebrecht

December 22, 2017

Coast guards have called off the search for Mark Tanner, principal cello of the New Wst Symphony, who made an emergency landing in a Cessna 210 eight days ago, northwest of Freeport, Bahamas.

Tanner, 57, had played in the California orchestra since 2001 and was an occasional concerto soloist. He gave the West Coast premiere of Tan Dun’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon concerto. His arrangement of the Barber Adagio is performed by international orchestra.

Mark was also v-p of medical technology company Xhale Inc.

His wife, violin professor Janna Lower of the University of Florida School of Music, was taken to hospital in Freeport before returning to the US.


Photo: Eugene Yankevich


  • Ted says:

    I knew this guy when he was an undergrad at Yale. He was one of these people you meet from time to time who loved taking risks. He would climb out of high windows in the gothic dorms and climb around the gargoyles, and up on to the roof. He rode his bicycle like a maniac while carrying his cello on his back, without a helmet. He also learned the layout of the power lines and caused numerous blackouts, and almost got expelled for doing this. He loved to play with fire. He explored the underground steam tunnels which were off-limits to everyone except employees trained to navigate them. And he had strange personal issues with the idea of property rights–he stole just for the sake of stealing, both by breaking into storage units and by creeping into other students’ rooms and taking random things.

    Everyone was sure he would either be a billionaire, or end up serving a long prison term, or die in an accident.